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Scott Ventura >> Movie Commentary >> October 2001 >> Pink Flamingos

Pink Flamingos

Movie Commentary by Scott Ventura


Scott's Rating:
4 / 5
Times Seen:
Viewing Date:
October 2001
IMDB Name:
Pink Flamingos (1972)
John Waters
comedy, crime
MPAA Rating:
NC-17 for a wide range of perversions in explicit detail.

Are You Experienced?

Pink Flamingos is the most absurd movie I've seen in many a moon, and I was laughing steadily at the somersaults and backflips my mind did trying to make sense of it. I was reminded of the legendary Plan 9 from Outer Space, often hailed as the worst movie of all time. If you can imagine it, Pink Flamingos has worse acting than even Plan 9. The dialogue is atrocious and the plot is ludicrous. Even the narration by writer/director/cinematographer John Waters is awful. In spite of all these problems, the movie is made with so much enthusiasm that it somehow works. I was flabbergasted first at the audacity that dared to dream these scenes were doable, and again that the actors were willing to play them out. There is a palpable yearning in the cast to be in a movie, and their immensely overacted theatrics crossed over from annoying into charming. Even excluding Divine's record-setting finale, almost every member goes far beyond the call of duty, often combining severely unflattering nudity with sex acts well off the beaten path.

Pink Flamingos would not have its reputation if it stopped at desperate thespians. The movie contains sights geared exclusively towards turning the audience's collective stomach. When the main characters are competing for the title "Filthiest People Alive", you know you're in for some unsettling sights. I can be a squeamish guy, and I was thrilled to not be significantly repulsed save the ending. That scene had me gagging a bit. Truth be told, Pink Flamingos is an experience. You might not be the same after having seen it, but you should definitely give it a try, even if you find yourself looking through your fingers. Curiously, I found almost nothing offensive from a morality standpoint, probably the result of my twenty-six years of inurement at the hands of television.

Copyright 2001-2002 by Scott Ventura. All rights reserved.